Bald eagles are finally showing some interest in their traditional winter feast of spawning kokanee at Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Carrie Hugo, U.S. Bureau of Land Management wildlife biologist, counted 57 bald eagles Tuesday in the Wolf Lodge Bay area.
That’s up from 11 counted last week during the weekly survey she conducts during the eagle congregation period.
However, the 46 adults and 11 immature eagles at the lake this week are less than half the tally of eagles in Wolf Lodge Bay last year at this time, Hugo said.
The eagles have provided a popular wildlife-viewing attraction as the birds are lured to the northeast corner of the lake from mid-November into January to feast on kokanee that stack up in the bay to spawn.
A record 273 bald eagles were counted at Lake Coeur d’Alene on Dec. 29, 2011.
“Last year I counted 121 bald eagles – 84 adults and 37 immature,” Hugo said, noting that Tuesday’s survey conditions were cold and windy, and many eagles were soaring in the breeze. “Let’s see if the cold snap this week freezes some lakes up north and sends a big pulse (of eagles) our way.”